Dilshani Edirisinghe – Category Manager, Damayanthi Galpotte – General Manager Human Resources, Sameera Senarathne – Head of Finance, Anton Dehipitiarachchi - General Manager Integrated Supply Chain & HSES, Kushan Balasuriya – Category Manager, Upendra Gunawaradana – Head of Marketing of AkzoNobel Sri Lanka with Divakar Ratnadurai - National Director, Kirthi Hettiarachchi - Deputy National Director, Kapila Gunawardhana - Director National Youth Care, Gayantha Dalpadado - Assistant Director Fund Development & Communication and Nipunika Ruhunage - Manager Corporate Partnership of SOS Children’s Village in Sri Lanka
AkzoNobel -the world industry leader in paints and coatings and producer of Dulux paints in Sri Lanka- has signed an agreement today with SOS Children's Villages of Sri Lanka, as part of its global Let’s Colour initiative between the two organisations. The partnership aims to tackle youth unemployment in the country through a series of educational and renovation training programs, with a focus on assisting youth coming from unstable backgrounds.
Armed with the power of paint, AkzoNobel together with SOS Children’s Villages are extending a hand to young people in Sri Lanka who are at risk of or have lost parental care, to help improve their chances of being employable. By providing professional painter and soft skills training and mentorships by local AkzoNobel employees, the investment into the specially formulated space and renewal/renovation programmes will support these youth to transition successfully into respectable jobs, with the greater goal of improving their chances of becoming independent adults who take responsibility not just for themselves but for the communities around them.
With an expertise of over 70 years in caring for children without parental care, and strengthening poverty-stricken families at risk of breaking down; SOS Children’s Villages, the world’s largest child care organization is currently present in 135 countries working with communities and state partners to provide SOS Family Care for those who need it the most. SOS Children’s Villages have a 37 year-strong presence in Sri Lanka, with six Children’s Villages located in Piliyandala, Nuwara Eliya, Galle, Anuradhapura, Monaragala and Jaffna. More than 50 young participants are expected to benefit through the Let’s Colour initiative alone.
Whilst aiming to tackle the youth unemployment in the country, through this partnership AkzoNobel will paint and renovate the living spaces of vulnerable families from the SOS Children’s Villages across Sri Lanka, not only making their homes more enjoyable and liveable, but also in creating a happy and safe space where resident children and their families can flourish.
In 2017 and 2018, the partnership changed for the better the lives of over 1000 young people from ten countries the world over. With a current presence in a total of 15 countries, an even bigger reach is expected in 2019.
“We firmly believe in the power of paint having the ability to empower the lives of both individuals and entire communities alike through programs such as Let’s Colour,” said Wasantha Heenatigala, Managing Director of AkzoNobel Sri Lanka. “We look forward to what we can achieve through this very special partnership with SOS Children’s Village, in giving these young people the opportunities they so richly deserve.”
Mr. Divakar Ratnadurai, National Director of SOS Children’s Village in Sri Lanka expressed his enthusiasm for Let’s Colour, “We greatly value the partnership we have with AkzoNobel, for it is well-thought out initiatives such as these that truly contribute towards shaping the futures of the parentless and abandoned children in our care.” He further added, “In equipping them with the language, professional and life skills required to survive in an increasingly competitive job market, we aren’t just colouring the lives of a few, we are arming the workforce of an entire nation.”